Chilly? Try Hot Chocolate!

This winter hasn't been that bad overall. Maybe it's because I'm in a different part of the country now, or maybe it's just ...

This winter hasn't been that bad overall. Maybe it's because I'm in a different part of the country now, or maybe it's just the way the weather wants to be, but man there has been some bitterly cold times as well.

The weather in winter in New Zealand is quite funny really. If it's snowing in one part, it's pretty much going to be cold in the rest of the country. Maybe it's because we're a small country, maybe it's because the fronts are huge. I don't know, I'm not a meteorologist, so I can't put anything scientific behind it. Either way, when there's been snow in some parts, it's been freezing in others, and what better way to warm myself up than with a hot chocolate?

Now... I'm not usually a hot drinks kind of girl. I'll have a chai latte every now and then, but other than that, I stay away from them. That warm feeling that people like to get from their hot drinks? I actually don't like it. I have no idea why, but I just don't.

But when it's really cold, I just can't help myself, and I have to have a nice warm drink to warm me up.

And of course with hot chocolate you've got to have marshmallow. It's like a match made in heaven! 

So three different flavours of hot chocolate and a batch of marshmallows, there is no better way to warm up on a winters day. Unless you add a fire in there somewhere of course.

For Plain Hot Chocolate you need:

Milk {as much as you need for the servings you need}
Chocolate buttons {I used dark. 1/3 of a cup for each serving}
A dash of vanilla extract

For Peppermint Hot Chocolate you need:

Milk {as above}
Chocolate buttons {as above}
A dash of peppermint extract

For the Cinnamon White Hot Chocolate you need:

Milk {as above}
White Chocolate buttons {1/3 cup per serve}
A dash of vanilla extract
A dash of cinnamon

Obviously you can change the chocolate to your taste.

Method for all:

Put all ingredients in a pot and mix until the chocolate is melted. Stir constantly so that the chocolate doesn't burn. Put into a mug, and if you want to, add some whipped cream and some sort of topping. I've used some chocolate chips and some cinnamon. Add a marshmallow. Enjoy!

For the Marshmallow:
1 1/2 Cups Caster Sugar
1/2 Cup Cold water
4 tsp Gelatin
1/2 Cup Hot Water
1 tsp Vanilla extract

In a mixer, put the cold water and the sugar. Mix together. While that is mixing, put the gelatin into the hot water and stir until it is dissolved. Pour the gelatin mixture into the sugar and water and mix until it is thick and glossy - like meringue. Add in the extract and mix again. When it's all mixed together, put the marshmallow into a lined or greased dish and leave to set at room temperature.

When set, cut with a wet knife and serve.

Make sure to enjoy these goodies, and make sure you don't eat the whole tray of marshmallows in one day {OOPS!}

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